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Riding high on the crest of the Bitcoin wave (and possibly learning from the socio-economic lows of the global pandemic) the appeal of cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity in more mainstream corporate and personal conversation.
Companies the world over, are contemplating more attentively the ramifications of crypto and the lure of non-FIAT digital transaction methods.Take the US online payments system PayPal for example. The latest development and product offering from this industry leader is their “Checkout with Crypto” option, freshly added to their platform.
Ever future-forward, especially as the internet of things and finding innovation that ‘disrupts’, continues to evolve and gain momentum, Paypal will allow their users to pay their merchants using either bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and/or litecoin. A revolutionary development to say the least, with the service geared to be available at all of PayPal's 29 million merchants "in the coming months."
“This is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet,”—Dan Schulman, PayPal President and CEO.
The news arrives during a heightened interest in cryptocurrencies from major global companies and institutions, the most recent being Tesla's proactive bid to acquire $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. The company started offering its U.S. market the option to purchase their premium luxury vehicles using bitcoins. Visa also recently announced it would start using USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the value of U.S. dollar, to settle transactions with Visa on the Ethereum platform.
What this means for the consumer
Now when making a purchase from a merchant that uses PayPal, a customer will more easily be able to convert their crypto into a fiat currency at checkout, whilst still enjoying the various privacy attributes that crypto offers. The only caveat currently is that it is still unclear whether this process will be automated or not. Additionally, users will only be able to use one type of coin per purchase. A positive is that there will be no transaction fee at checkout.
Leaps and bounds
PayPal, ahead of the curve, started allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through its systems in October of 2020. The company now hopes this next step will entice its customers to start using cryptocurrencies for purchases, instead of merely ‘hodling’.
“We think it is a transitional point where cryptocurrencies move from being predominantly an asset class that you buy, hold and or sell to now becoming a legitimate funding source to make transactions in the real world at millions of merchants,” —Schulman later told Reuters.